Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dead Man’s Curve

There are several versions of this tale told across America. This account is from the east coast.

An hour before the clock had struck twelve and now it was January 1, 1952. The three young couples were in a festive mood for they had been drinking.

One husband, Bill Gardner volunteered to drive the others home since he had not been drinking except for a few campaign sips to toast the New Year.

The road ahead of their car was deserted but Bill became concerned when he saw another car appear--seemingly out of nowhere. It was traveling straight down the middle of the road.

Bill was worried it was going to hit them head on but in the nick of time he was able to cut sharply to the right. As he hit a curve his car crashed down a steep embankment.

Bill climbed out of his car amidst the dust and smoke. He was bleeding but he managed to inspect the condition of his passengers. They were all pinned in the car. They were hurt but still alive.

He started to climb up the hill to get help. As he reached the highway he saw a man standing near the edge looking down.

The man approached him and stated his name was Benjamin Prudden from New Haven. He offered to give Bill a ride to the hospital.

Just before Bill fainted he heard the man say he would send an ambulance back for his friends.

Several weeks later, after Bill had recovered from the accident he went in search of Ben to thank him for saving his life and his friend’s lives. With inquires he was told a family by the name of Prudden lived in Derby.

He borrowed a car since his was totaled and drove there. He asked at a shop where he could find a Benjamin Prudden. He received some odd looks but the shopkeeper offered to show him.

They got in the shopkeepers car and Bill was surprised to see him drive into the town’s cemetery. He was led to a tombstone with this inscription on it:

“Here Lies Benjamin Prudden, 1846-1906”

Bill inquired if there might be another man by the same name, he was told no. The shopkeeper was not surprised by his story about the stranger who helped him in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

He was the 3rd person that had claimed to see Benjamin Prudden since he had died 45 years before. The shopkeeper mentioned that Ben had lost his life on the same curve Bill’s car had veered off of.

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